Sussex 25 – Surrey 0

There’s no doubt that for Sussex Women’s Rugby it has been a rather frustrating start to the season.Having gone up a league this year, Sussex presumed that the matches would be more organized, competitive and professional. However, compared to the league below, the opposing teams have not lived up to expectations.

Women's Rugby in a Scrum - Sussex Students Union Activities Centre

All opposition teams, apart from one, have manipulated the BUCS rules, which suggests that there are a number of flaws to the rules which need to be addressed. Teams have continually turned up without full numbers resulting in Sussex having to drop players to match the numbers in accordance with BUCS rules. They have also demanded uncontested scrums when the opposition realise this is a particular strength of Sussex. This has taken its toll on the way that Sussex has been playing.

It did not come as a surprise to Sussex when the University of Surrey women’s rugby arrived with only 12 players last Wednesday. However, Sussex were determined to be unfazed by this decision and jogged onto the pitch ready to show Surrey how real rugby is played. Sussex’s dominance was obvious from the whistle with the first try being scored in the opening minutes by fresher, Emily Simpson, who placed the ball down with ease over the try line.

The backs truly demonstrated their skill with another first-year try from number 10, Louise Smale, which was beautifully converted by ‘Hero of the Term’, Frida Krantz. However, in a few well placed moves, Surrey were suddenly merely a few metres from Sussex’s try line. Despite this the defence held strong and the ball was abruptly in the hands of  centre Hannah Pleasance – yet another newcomer to the game – who side-stepped and burst through a number of unsuspecting players, running the whole length of the pitch to score yet another try for Sussex Rugby.
After half time, Sussex was eager to get back on the pitch and put more points on Surrey. Sussex scrums were completely dominating, resulting in a number of balls lost for Surrey; forward Lillie Starkings was soon to power through the helpless Surrey defence and score the fourth try of the game. This was shortly followed by Louise Smale once again showing she was a core member of the team, smashing through Surrey players in a quickly-taken penalty.

The resulting try was possibly the best Sussex has witnessed so far this season. The final whistle blew after the BUCS-regulated 60 minutes of play.

Every Sussex rugby player put everything they had into the game; a special mention goes out to Frida Krantz whose term abroad at Sussex is now over. Never has one player had such an impact on the team in such a short amount of time; she will be sorely missed.


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